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It's Official: Avnet Names Bill Amelio As Permanent CEO

Avnet has named interim CEO and former Lenovo leader Bill Amelio as its permanent CEO as the distributor looks to accelerate adoption of emerging technologies.

Avnet has named interim CEO and former Lenovo leader Bill Amelio as its permanent CEO as the company looks to boost shareholder returns and accelerate adoption of emerging technologies.

"Avnet is fortunate to have someone of Bill's character and experience," William Schumann, chairman of Avnet's board, said in a statement. "He brings energy and focus to the business, and the board unanimously agreed that making him the permanent CEO was in the best interest of our customers, employees and shareholders."

The announcement comes less than a month after Amelio told investors that he was "very interested" in – and assumed he was the front-runner for – the permanent CEO role. Amelio became interim CEO July 11 after longtime leader Rick Hamada stepped down.

[RELATED: Avnet Interim CEO: I'd Assume I'm The Frontrunner For Permanent Job]

"We have an experienced management team and an engaged workforce," Amelio said in a statement. "By better aligning those resources with our competitive solutions specialist, embedded and supply chain strengths, Avnet will undoubtedly be positioned to achieve profitable growth for our shareholders."

Avnet's stock has climbed 0.5 percent to $41.55 per share since Avnet made the news official Tuesday morning.

Amelio told investors during last month's earnings call that he's dedicated to identifying and doubling down on the profit-generating sources within Avnet, and fixing or exiting from Avnet's areas of poor profitability.

He also said at the time that he plans to install a greater sense of urgency within Avnet by rolling out new business management systems that emphasize accountability, address organizational barriers and allow the distributor to work more effectively through collective operating groups.

Amelio also is focused on building a stronger bench of talent by working with Avnet's management teams to put future leaders in challenging roles in critical, high-growth markets, he said in August. And while Amelio said he values Avnet's Internet of Things and digital technologies initiatives, he said Avnet must get its margin and return performance more in line with long-term financial goals.

To achieve growth and more consistent execution, Amelio said last month that Avnet must leverage its strength around sales, operations and vendor and solution provider relationships.

Amelio will earn a prorated base salary of $850,000 annually and be eligible for a bonus of up to 100 percent of his base compensation, according to a July filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He also received an award of stock options and restricted stock units worth a total of $2 million, and will be reimbursed for reasonable commuting expenses.

Amelio served as CEO of international oil-field services company CHC Group Ltd. from 2010 to 2015, president and CEO of Beijing-based Lenovo from 2005 to 2009, and president of Asia-Pacific and Japan for Dell from 2001 to 2005. He began his career with IBM in 1979, eventually rising to become general manager of worldwide operations for Big Blue's personal computer division.

Avnet struggled in its 2016 fiscal year, which ended July 2, with sales falling by 6.1 percent to $26.22 billion and net income tumbling 11.4 percent to $506.5 million. The company announced in April that it planned to cut $25 million in personnel and other expenses from its technology business after demand for data center hardware and software plummeted.

Rick Hamada - who had been with the company since 1983 and served as its CEO for more than five years - stepped down nine days after the end of Avnet's fiscal year. A spokeswoman said at the time that Avnet's board believed a leadership change was needed to accelerate growth, drive a greater sense of urgency and enhance the company's focus on execution.

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